When I was growing up I didn't like running. Honestly, it was the bane of my existence. P.E. class was just another excuse for me to use my impeccable acting skills to be sent to the nurse.
If you know me now, you know that I love to run. I run for distance, sometimes for speed, and often times just to say I went. I ran my first half-marathon this April in Bentonville, Arkansas. Running through the town that I grew up in beside my aunt Misty was an experience to say the least. 13.1 miles of road and trail is a long time to think. I remember passing the new Crystal Bridges Museum and thinking to myself, "wow, that used to be just a field and the old Wood's house. Now it's an art museum."
Running offers a new perspective. While driving we are going so fast and we are only able to see what the road allows us to see. Running breaks the boundaries of our metal contraptions, it gives feet freedom and the mind can truly be free. All thoughts are in the present, the destination, sure is important, but it's one foot in front of the other, it's steadying of breath, the sun on your face.
I find solace in running, even if I'm running with people and chatting, I still feel alone, but in a good way. I am surrounded by a lot of people who advocate meditation and the powerful healing properties it offers, but honestly it bores me. I can't sit still and what's more, I don't want to sit still. Running offers me what so many yoga masters and mediators preach, peace.
I think that the beginner runner has the same anxiety as I did when I first started. I didn't want to leave the comfort of my home. I didn't want people to judge me for running incorrectly. There were so many negative thoughts, but what happened when my first step hit the pavement I never thought about that anymore.
If you're reading this, I hope you challenge yourself to find an outlet. Something that let's you be you and something that will build your confidence and what-not. If you want to try running, do it! I have not been disappointed.
I hope to see you all for the Toad Suck Daze race! I'll be in the 10k line-up alongside my good friend, Claire. We will be wearing something bright and obnoxious.